New Atlas celebrates 20 years
This month marks 20 years since New Atlas began.
In March 2002 we published our first print edition – a pocket-sized magazine called “gizmo,” which was accompanied by a website featuring longer versions of the articles and additional images. We had a hunch that this internet thing might take off, and soon the print magazine was shelved in favor of going 100% online as Gizmag.com.
The rise of internet publishing also broke down borders. Our first issue was put together in a small back office in Melbourne, Australia, but our readers came from all over the world and pretty soon, so did our contributors.
Twenty years is a long time in any field, but when you’re covering the exponential advance of science and new technology, it’s several lifetimes. In 2002 there was no Facebook, no iPhone, no Tesla, and no CRISPR-Cas9. Flipping through the pages of our early magazines hammers home just how far things have come. Apple’s iPod impressed us with its easy-to-use circular button, Sony’s formidable (and it was) F707 digital camera boasted massive 2MB images, only eight of which could be stored on the memory stick the camera shipped with, and PDAs were a thing.
There’s also reminders of how far things haven’t come, or more accurately, how difficult it can be to predict the trajectory of technology once it’s out in the wild, even just a few years on. Futuristic fashion glasses promised to augment our reality with high-res video input, the Segway promised to redefine urban transport, and the internet fridge was set to take over our kitchens.
We’ve changed over the years, too, shifting our focus as waves of new technology break into the mainstream and fresh ideas bubble to the surface. By 2016 we found ourselves covering a much broader range of topics and we changed our name to New Atlas to reflect that.
But celebrating innovation has always been the core of what we do.
Over the journey we’ve learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and received a lot of help from a whole lot of people. We’ve been privileged to witness this transformational period in human history, and we’ve been privileged to have readers who share our passions and keep us on our toes.
I’d like to give a huge thanks to all those who’ve contributed to New Atlas throughout the past two decades. Our founding team is still here, we're still independently owned, and many of our dedicated writers, editors and programmers have been with us for a sizable chunk of our 20-year history. That in itself is an achievement we are proud of.
And on behalf of everyone at New Atlas, I’d like to thank all of our readers, commenters, subscribers and followers. We truly appreciate your support.
We're looking forward to continuing the journey – things aren’t about to slow down in this space, that’s for sure.
In the meantime, to celebrate our 20th birthday we’ve been digging into our archives to bring you some of our favorite moments.
And finally, if our work here is valuable to you, the best way to support us is by subscribing to ad-free New Atlas Plus. It only costs $19 a year, and your contribution would make our day!